ROI Research: Increase Revenues by Measuring Business Development Initiatives

Law firms could earn a lot more revenue from their marketing and sales efforts if they just did one simple thing: measure them effectively.  This is among the insightful findings of an ROI research report "Increasing Marketing Effectiveness at Professional Firms," published jointly by Expertise Marketing LLC of Concord, MA and my firm, Larry Bodine Marketing.

This is the first study of its kind reported that collectively the respondents spent a paltry sum - less than one-tenth of a percent of an aggregate $94 billion in gross revenue -- on formally measuring marketing and business development. 

The 148-page report includes 68 pages of valuable case studies in which 18 marketers in accounting, law, architecture, real estate, engineering and other professional services gave interviews on their marketing efforts and how they measured them.

The report and case studies are on sale for only $225 in the LawMarketing Store, at, in two PDF format downloads for $225.
Partners and senior executives are hammering marketers to improve the ROI of their marketing and sales efforts and even justify the value of their jobs. Now, for the first time, we have a verified link between competitive effectiveness and the intentional act of measuring. Marketers and business developers should immediately switch to activities that can be measured, and get out of doing the rest.

My research partner Suzanne Lowe, President of Expertise Marketing LLC in Concord, MA, and author of the bookMarketplace Masters added, "Until now, professional service marketers have had to fly blind and on a shoestring in measuring their programs' effectiveness.  Our findings provide breakthrough insights about which metrics work, which ones won't, and why." 

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BEST Customer Service Ever -- from Dell

Dell, law firm marketing, business development, customer serviceI bought my Dell Latitude D630 laptop from a booth at ABA Techshow in Chicago in March.  I was so impressed with the booth staff's attention to my needs, that I bought it on the spot for a huge discount.

I never expected the wonderful call last week from Chris Estes in Houston, saying he was my personal account rep. Talk about excellent customer service -- I felt as if I had been assigned a personal shopper for me.  He is a Sales Representative in the Business Systems Division, and spent time on the phone asking how the new laptop was working out.  He said the one I bought is the same one that most Dell employees use for work, which made me feel cool.

law firm marketing, marketing director, Dell Laser PrinterThen, like a good salesperson, he interviewed me about my business needs.  I told him I write a lot of proposals and reports, and get a lot of 60-page research documents -- all of which overwhelm my modest little HP C4280 all-in-one printer.  And the cost of ink was outrageous. I was spending $200+ per month in ink and sending out big jobs to FedEx Kinko's to be printed.

He told me about the Dell 1320c Color Laser Printer, which I could buy for $200 with free shipping -- a special deal from him. What I loved was that its toner cartridges can print 2,000 pages each and cost $59 for black. (Inkjet ink runs when it gets wet; toner pages are waterproof.)  The speed for the laser printer is 16ppm black and 12 ppm color, with a maximum capacity of 35,000 pages per month.  It comes with a 250 sheet drawer.

"Would you like my credit card number now?" was all I could say.

He told me to call him if I was having any trouble with my Dell equipment.  The capper was his email summarizing the order, which stated under his signature block, "How am I doing? E-mail my Manager:"  The printer arrived two days later!

Law firm marketers can learn a lot from this experience.

  • It makes a big difference to a client to know they have a point person they can call when they need help.
  • A smart lawyer will interview his client about its business, asking probing questions to find out about latent client needs.
  • Always make it easy for clients to give you feedback.

CAN-SPAM Update: Have You Complied With the New Rules Yet?

email, law firm marketing, Can-Spam, marketing directorThis post summarizes an excellent article on the Marketing Sherpa site: The Federal Trade Commission’s latest update on CAN-SPAM regulations take effect in less than two weeks. Is your email compliant?

The Good News

  • CAN-SPAM terminology is now better defined, giving marketers clearer standards – that’s a baby step in the right direction.
  • We know exactly who a “sender” is now.
  • The FTC kept the 10-day mandatory opt-out requirement in place after mulling cutting it to three days.
  • Nothing in CAN-SPAM will get you in legal trouble if you are sending *permission-based* emails. (Note: We aren’t attorneys; please check with your own legal counsel.)
  • The FTC will not designate additional “aggravated violations.” In other words, it won’t go out of its way to engage in witch hunts.

5 Key provisions

Provision #1. Unsubscribe requirements

You cannot require an email recipient to:

  • Pay a fee
  • Provide information other than their email address and opt-out preferences
  • Take more than these opt-out steps:
    • Send a reply email message
    • Visit a single Web page

Provision #2. Definition of ‘sender’

A ‘sender’ is now defined as the entity whose goods, services, business, organization, etc., are advertised in a commercial email message. For the most part, the name in the ‘From’ line of an email becomes the designated sender.

Provision #3. P.O. Box address OK

A ‘sender’ can use an “accurately-registered” post office box or private mailbox. This will meet the rule that a commercial email present a “valid physical postal address.” Prior CAN-SPAM rules did not make that clear.

Provision #4. Definition of ‘person’

A ‘person’ now is not limited to a human being. An FTC ‘person’ includes groups, institutions, unincorporated associations, businesses of all sizes and nonprofits, as well as human beings. This definition leaves no doubt now that nonprofits must abide by CAN-SPAM.

Provision #5. Forward to a Friend

Brands doing ‘forward-to-a-friend’ viral emails – where participants are rewarded, incentivized or induced – must adhere to CAN-SPAM rules. They must honor opt-out requests and provide a physical address to people who receive the forwards.

The Bad News

The act says, “Recipients of commercial electronic mail have a right to decline to receive additional commercial electronic mail from the same source.” This seems easy – just allow for opt-outs. But it’s difficult for many organizations to implement do-not-email rules because the opt-out isn’t just for the particular list that sent the mail. The opt-out applies to any promotional email any list or staffer from your brand might send ever again.


Troutman Sanders merging with Ross, Dixon & Bell LLP, creating a 750-attorney firm

This press release just arrived:

ATLANTA and WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 25, 2008) – The law firms of Troutman Sanders LLP and Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP announced today they will merge, creating a 750-attorney firm with national and international reach and unparalleled depth.

The merger, approved by the partnerships at both firms and effective Jan. 1, 2009, combines Troutman Sanders’ multi-faceted corporate, finance, litigation, real estate and public policy practices with Ross, Dixon & Bell’s exceptional insurance, professional liability and commercial litigation practices, among other synergies. The merger also joins two law firms with established reputations for excellence and attorneys who share a common culture and vision.

The merged firm will be named Troutman Sanders LLP and will remain headquartered in Atlanta. It will have about 1,700 employees.

When the merger is completed, Troutman Sanders will for the first time operate offices on the West Coast and in Chicago. At the same time, Ross, Dixon & Bell attorneys and clients will gain access to Troutman Sanders’ established presence in Atlanta, New York, Raleigh, Virginia, London and Asia.

The merger will also double the size of Troutman Sanders’ presence in Washington, D.C., which is the current headquarters of Ross, Dixon & Bell. The combined firm will have more than 100 attorneys in the nation’s capital.

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Rewarding Referrals in Law Firm Marketing

Here's a great post from Nancy Myrland's blog:

Let’s talk about referrals.  Few things in business are more satisfying than receiving a referral from a current or past client, a friend or a colleague.  How do we make sure we keep referrals coming? 

First, make sure you are doing great work.  Be someone who is easy to refer.  Ask yourself if you would want to refer you if you were the recipient of your work.

Second, let your contacts know your business relies on referrals, and that if they find it appropriate to mention you to others in need, you would be most appreciative.  People like to help people they like.  It makes them feel good to contribute to your success.

Third, the very day you find out you’ve been referred, call or email the generous person who did so and let them know how appreciative you are, and that you will let them know what happens. 

Fourth, within two days, send whatever your Level One Referral Recognition gift is to that person with a personal note.  It could be a small box of fabulous cookies, a $10 Starbucks card (I’ve been the recipient of both and loved the surprise!), something you make, anything that is genuine and heartfelt.

Fifth, when you schedule a meeting with the new client, call or email the referrer and let them know you are planning on talking to this person at such-and-such time, and that you will continue to keep them updated.  Thank them again.

Sixth, if this referral turns in to business, send your Level Two Referral Recognition gift to the referrer.  This should definitely be larger and more valuable than Level One so the message is clear.  Write a gracious note that lets that person know exactly what happened.  Don’t get in to price and confidential details that are between you and the new client, but let them know the general nature of the business you will be conducting. 

Seventh, once or twice a year, create a card (have your designer or printer create them) that is specifically worded to your referral sources and how thankful you are for them, how much your business thrives because of them, etc., and send to all your referral sources EVEN if you haven’t received one from a particular source in a long time.  Keep your name and need in front of them, and help them remember why they sent business to you in the first place. 

Again, there are many ways we can build a Referral Recognition Program, but these seven should put you well on your way to building and nurturing referrals for years to come.


How a Restaurant Can Help Your Personal Brand

From Bruce Allen's blog, Marketing Catalyst:

"I went to lunch last week at McCormick & Schmick's with a partner from a local accounting firm. As we entered the restaurant staff and maître d' all greeted him by name with smiles and affection -- the maître d' asked, "your usual table?", which turned out to be, of course, a prime spot in a prime restaurant. I was impressed!

Thinking back -- I used to be a frequent diner, with guest(s), at The Center Club in Costa Mesa. I was known by the staff who greeted me by name and stepped-up their attentiveness to my table. I can recall that my guests were impressed by the club and the attention.

Both situations demonstrate a basic rule about building personal brand; Anytime you can demonstrate that you are well known and liked you are elevated in standing.

A restaurant is a perfect place to make that happen. If you would like to experience this for yourself try this:
  • Select a finer restaurant near your office where you enjoy the food and the ambiance
  • Make a commitment to invest in eating lunch there at least once or twice a week
  • Be wonderful and upbeat with the staff on every visit
  • Have conversations with the staff and demonstrate an interest in their day
  • Tip nicely (server and maître d') and offer compliments all around every time you visit
  • Introduce your guest(s) to the staff
Do these things and it will not be too long before you are greeted like beloved family every time you visit "your" restaurant. Your lunch will be great and your guests will have new reason to respect whom you are."

An all-female Buffalo law firm Touts its Woman Power

Schroder, Joseph & Associates, law firm marketingFrom the Buffalo News "Business Today" section:

An all-female Buffalo law firm is getting a mix of cheers and boos for a series of ads that tout its woman power. “Ever Argue with a Woman?” reads the headline of one of the ads for Schroder Joseph & Associates LLP.

“Labor Pains? Talk to us. (We’re women . . . We get it),” states another in the series of ads for the firm that specializes in corporate labor and employment law.

“They’re meant to be a little edgy and funny. If anything, we’re poking fun at ourselves a bit,” said Ginger Schroder, the firm’s lead partner. “We never intended to engender a national debate on gender stereotypes.”

In recent weeks, the marketing strategy has been the subject of Internet debate on the American Bar Association’s Web site, as well as, a site with an advertising industry following.

The main criticism of the ads, which play up the firm’s feminine strengths, is that they perpetuate sexual stereotyping.

  • “Great, next they’ll sell us on female surgeons because they sew better,” reads a post on  
  • A comment on the ABA Web site said, “Men Work Harder and Don’t Take Time Off For Childbirth” or “How Many Women Play Pro Football . . . Women Are Weak,” are two of the proposed male-centric ads.
  • “Sexism is sexism and humor is just a veil to excuse it,” the ABA site comment concludes.
  • “I suspect that what gnaws at those who find this particular ad campaign troubling is that at the core of any stereotype, you often find a kernel of truth,” reads a positive post on the ABA site. “That is what makes the ads effective, and, well, pretty darn funny.”

Orion the cat, law firm marketingSchroder said she’s completely surprised by the recent online debate. The ads, which have been appearing in Buffalo-area publications for over a year, have never attracted any local criticism.

The ads have appeared in Business First, Western New York Heritage, Buffalo Spree and national legal journals since spring 2007. In addition to the “labor pains” and “argue with a woman,” the campaign also taps themes tied to sexual harassment and maternal instincts.

A Buffalo attorney who served on the New York State Bar Association’s task force to establish lawyer ad guidelines that went into effect in 2007 said he’s “a little uncomfortable” with the tone of the Schroder Joseph ads.

“I have a standing concern about any ad content that goes beyond the basics of education and experience,” said Edward C. Cosgrove. “Anything cutesy and catchy makes me a little uncomfortable.”

“I recently saw an ad for a downstate firm that suggested the male lawyers had an edge because of their masculinity, that they were brawlers in the courtroom,” Cosgrove said. “That struck me as crossing the line.”

A State Bar spokesman said the Buffalo law firm’s ad have not resulted in any formal action against the firm tied to its year-old advertising guidelines. Those rules were put in place to govern misleading and inappropriate attorney ads, with particular focus on embellished testimonials, silly nicknames and inaccurate fee information.

Schroder Joseph employs four female attorneys and an all-woman support staff at its Ellicott Street offices.  Their have a house cat named Orion.

Former Mayer Brown Partner Sues Firm for Ousting Him

John Halbleib, Mayer BrownThis article is now online (subscription required) at  Visit here for a summary.

Attorney John Halbleib of Lemont, Illinois, alleges in a lawsuit that Mayer Brown breached its partnership agreement and fiduciary duty to him and engaged in common law fraud by misrepresenting the reasons for his demotion and eventual ouster. Halbleib v. Mayer Brown, No. 08-6221.

In the lawsuit, filed June 6 in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, Halbleib claims the firm really ousted him because it was seeking business from a Hershey rival, Nestle USA, and Halbleib's work for the association stood in the way because its opposition to a Hershey Foods Corp. sale represented a conflict of interest.  Click here to view the complaint.

"Mayer Brown has reviewed the complaint filed by former partner and employee John Halbleib, and finds it without merit," the firm said in a statement. "We will defend ourselves vigorously and are confident of a positive outcome for the firm."

Halbleib joined Mayer Brown in Chicago as a partner in February 1996, after working at Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz, and Chapman & Cutler.  See his online bio for more detail.

It all might sound like one more lawyer's career gone sour in the ever more competitive U.S. big-firm landscape, but Halbleib alleges in a lawsuit against the firm, now known as Mayer Brown, that there's more to the story.

Halbleib was riding high in June 2001. He'd just won a first-time pro bono award from his law firm, Mayer Brown Row & Mawe, for his work with the alumni association of a Hershey family founded school for underprivileged children and his leadership in the legal battle had been the subject of many news stories.

But by the following January, the law firm was asking him to leave because he didn't have enough fee-generating clients. Halbleib was "shocked," he said.

He pleaded with senior partners to let him stay on as a non-practicing attorney in charge of technology projects. They did, but four years later asked him again to leave, so he did.

Mayer Brown is still touting Halbleib's good works. Visit and scroll down to "John Halbleib's "Orphan Army" crusade featured in People Magazine" on the firm website.
6,000 hours of work

In early 1999, Mayer Brown appointed Halbleib to take on pro bono representation of the Milton Hershey School Alumni Association to resolve its dispute with the Milton Hershey School Trust over how a multi-billion dollar endowment left by the famous Pennsylvania chocolate family for the school should be spent, the lawsuit says.

Halbleib was suited to the task because as a teenager he had attended the school, which was dedicated to serving orphans and lower-income students. Halbleib was one of 10 children raised by a single mother after his father died when he was 10 years old. Over the next three years, he spent nearly 6,000 hours on the project and helped the association defeat an effort by the trust to change its mission, according to the lawsuit.

Given that work, Halbleib said in an interview that he "was not out building client relationships." So, he had little defense when two senior partners informed him in January 2002 that he was being expelled from the partnership and should leave the firm by July. Halbleib was eventually allowed to stay on through 2006 as a technology director.

Nestle connection alleged

It wasn't until last year, after looking for a new job, that he considered how his termination coincided with other events at Mayer Brown, he said. He started to see how his ouster was connected to the firm's pursuit of business from Nestle, he alleged.

He recalled a senior partner at the firm asking him in January 2001 to discuss "what Nestle would need to do in order to acquire Hershey Foods" Corp., the lawsuit said. Hershey Foods was controlled by the trust that also funded the school. Halbleib told the partner that the alumni association would object to a sale. In November, the senior partner circulated an e-mail saying the firm was representing Nestle in a search for acquisitions, the lawsuit alleges.

Halbleib also asserts in the lawsuit that the firm acknowledged in a July, 2002 memo that it "may become involved in the acquisition of Hershey Foods," and that it was working on a confidential matter for Nestle.

In July 2002, a proposed sale of Hershey Foods was made public, but by August the Pennsylvania Attorney General and the alumni association were seeking to block a sale, the lawsuit says. Mayer Brown declined to appear on behalf of the association in its opposition, though the firm continued to advise the association until March 2003, putting it in a conflict of interest, according to Halbleib's lawsuit.

Ultimately, after putting Hershey on the sales block, the trust rejected a top bid from Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. and a joint offer from Nestle and Cadbury Schweppes in September 2002, according to news reports at the time.

Halbleib declined to say how much he's seeking in damages”

The ROI Obsession in Law Firm Marketing

Law firm marketers are facing increasing pressure to justify their budgets and sometimes their very existence, according to a new report, "10 Megatrends in B2B Marketing 2008" published by The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited.

"The promise of intangible or uncertain returns is unacceptable to hard-headed executives, particularly in accounting, law and other professional service firms. To cope, marketing is forming close partnerships with sales and engaging in field sales marketing that can be shown to deliver concrete bottom line results.

"Only 39% of executives today say they closely measure the ROI of their marketing spending. But in three to five years, the figures will more than double, to a staggering 89%. In line with this trend, B2B executives are developing systems to quantify the ROI of thought leadership—from measuring click-through rates on the Web to the number of sales leads and closed deals.

ROI, law firm marketing, marketing director

"As one marketing director elaborates, “it’s no longer enough merely justifying the ROI of a campaign.” Increasingly, he insists, “you have to justify the ROI of the whole marketing function.” In es­sence, marketing executives are developing an ROI obsession.

"Moreover, she adds, there are many ways where measurement can improve. For example, “if we organize a meeting, we can track the number of attendees, the number of sales leads and sales calls. Or if we sponsor a white paper, we can track how many times we’re quoted in the press, how many executives request a copy of the report, does it lead to speak­ing engagements or meetings with target executives.”

Ultimately, says the executive, “we may not be able to attribute all of the revenue that is derived from a thought leadership sponsorship program or a print promotion, but we can get some good readings and that can help us with future choices relating to how we market ourselves.”


Chris Matthews of WaMu is new Orrick CMO

Ralph Baxter, law firm marketing, marketing directorOrrick, the No. 27 law firm on the AmLaw 100, has hired a new CMO who has never worked at a law firm. It appears to be a continuation of the trend to hire CMOs from outside the legal industry. 

I’d like to see what you think: is it a good idea to head up law firm marketing departments with people outside the profession?

Here’s the internal memo from Ralph Baxter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orrick.

“I am very pleased to announce that Chris Matthews joins us today in the new role of Chief Marketing Strategy and Business Development Officer. Chris will be responsible for working with our Leadership Team and me to develop and execute strategies to raise our profile and support our business development and client relationship efforts. As we discussed at this year's partners meeting, raising our profile and continuing to strengthen the Orrick brand in all of our key markets is critical to our objective of competing among the world's leading law firms.

Chris brings extensive branding and business development experience on behalf of several of the world's leading financial services and consumer brands. He has served in senior roles at Washington Mutual, General Electric's Genworth Financial and MasterCard International. Earlier in his career, he was with Grey Advertising and Coca-Cola.

He will lead our talented senior staff of Jolie Goldstein, Chief Client Relations Officer, John Hodder, Chief Marketing Officer, and Allan Whitescarver, Chief Communications Officer, and their teams in executing an integrated approach to supporting the firm and our partners.”

What makes this interesting its that is appears to be a stealth hiring.  There is absolutely no mention of  Matthews on the firm website, no press release, and he's not a member of LMA.


Take the Survey on Alternative Billing Methods

Center for Competitive Management, law firm marketingThe Center for Competitive Management (CCM) is also conducting a survey on alternative billing methods, and they'd like hear from you. Your input is vital to the success of the survey. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey. In exchange for your valuable feedback, you will receive a complimentary summary of the results.

Click here to take the survey: Alternative Billing Survey.


Enter the 2008 Rainmaker of the Year Awards

legal sales, law firm marketing, lsso, originate newsletterWho were the top “rainmakers” in the law this past year, and how did they do it? To find out, the editors of Originate!, the monthly business development newsletter, join LSSO to announce a competition to identify and honor top business getters in the law.

According to the editor-in-chief Barry Schneider, “We want to recognize the accomplishments of those lawyers who have geared up to bring in business and applied themselves to make it happen. And we want our readers to learn from those who have been particularly successful this past year.”

The newsletter is now soliciting entries from lawyers, firms, marketing specialists and advisers in five categories (see )

  1. Associate
  2. Small firm lawyer (30 or fewer lawyers)
  3. Partner – transactions
  4. Partner – litigator
  5. Woman Lawyer or Minority Lawyer (any practice)
rainmaker, business development, law firm marketingBeth Cuzzone, a Co-Founder of LSSO, is Director of Business Development for the award-winning law firm Goulston & Storrs in Boston. She said, “With sales and marketing now so critical to the careers of individual lawyers and the vitality of law firms, we know how important it is for the best to be recognized and share what they do.”

The editors of Originate! will profile each of the winners and publish their stories in the newsletter’s first anniversary issue this fall. The articles in that issue will be open to the public.

More information on the contest, as well as the entry form, can be found at

ABOUT ORIGINATE! -- Originate! is an independent online business development newsletter for lawyers and is found at The paid subscription newsletter offers practical advice lawyers to get new clients and generate more revenue. Originate! has assembled a set of top-notch contributors – including firm leaders, rainmakers and consultants – to publish case studies of successful lawyers, specific techniques to boost marketing results, how-to’s, and market insights – what top attorneys are now doing to land clients, sell work and strengthen relationships. First published in 2007, the co-editors of Originate! include Barry Schneider of Dallas, TX, Larry Bodine, Esq., of Glen Ellyn, IL, and Michael G. Cummings of St. Charles, IL.

ABOUT LSSO – The Legal Sales and Service Organization, based in Boston and found at, is the legal industry's only organization exclusively focused on sales, service and quality issues in law firms and legal departments. Founded in 2003, LSSO delivers the education and resources that lawyers need to improve their sales and client service skills with a searchable library, exclusive research, tools and information for members only, LSSO's RainDance Conference, LSSO's Process Improvement Certification Programs and the Thomas H. Lee Award for Service Excellence. Catherine Alman MacDonagh, Esq. is the association’s Co-Founder & President and Beth M. Cuzzone, also a Co-Founder, is Director of Business Development for Goulston & Storrs in Boston.

Anyone can submit an entry on behalf of a top rainmaker they know in one of these categories, and there is no entry fee this year. The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 21, 2008. Entry forms are available online at Winners will be interviewed in the newsletter and receive impressive award trophies.

A panel of lawyers, marketing professionals and business development experts will determine the best of the best among the submitted entries. The panel will consist of independent judges assembled by the Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO) in Boston. LSSO uniquely focuses on sales, service and quality issues in the legal industry, and sponsors the annual RainDance conference on business development.

New Blog on Social Networking

Nancy Fox, law firm marketingThe ever-resourceful Nancy Fox of Westchester County, NY, has started a new blog on social networking, sharing all the latest info and insight on social networks - how they are impacting business, people, trends, etc.


Nancy asks, "Please visit and give me your feedback. If we are to help the professionals in our field leverage the internet to its fullest we need to be up to speed with the way people are using and interacting on the web."

Recent posts include:


The Ten Most Effective Law Firm Marketing Techniques

Top ten, law firm marketing, marketing director, business develpmentMany lawyers don't get new clients and files because they don't do enough business development activities, or they waste time on the wrong activities, or they don't get face-to-face with potential clients.

I've helped attorneys generate more clients and get more business by training attorneys what to say, what to do and how to be in the right place at the right time. I also work with lawyers one-on-one and help them develop personal business plans, and follow-up to assist lawyers overcome any hurdles that they might encounter.

What you'll read next are the most effective marketing techniques. These tips are based on scientific research that I have conducted where we asked 377 marketing partners and marketing professionals in the professional services fields what they did that worked. I'm going to cover 10 particular points.

Number one: You have to spend at least 2.5 percent of your gross revenues on marketing. Otherwise, you're just pretending to market. That 2.5 percent does not include the salaries of any of the people that you may have hired to perform the work. This is money that is spent on generating new business, on taking clients out to lunch, on visiting clients - it's all direct marketing activities. You have to put your money where your mouth is. If you're not spending 2.5 percent, you're not being serious about marketing, and you're not going to get any results.

To read the other nine tips, click here.


Law Firm Marketers Shorten Law Firm Names

The Houston Chronicle reports that the long-running trend of law firms to shorten their names is continuing.

  • Sutherland Asbill & Brennan is now "Sutherland."
  • Winstead Sechrest & Minick is now "Winstead."
  • McMillan Binch Mendelsohn is now "McMillan."

It’s it's happening with increasing frequency, especially among the top 100 firms in the nation — to go by only one name, as Skadden, Howrey, Dechert, Orrick, Pillsbury have done.  Just like:

  • Cherilyn Sarkasian LaPier is "Cher."
  • Madonna Louise Ciccone is "Madonna."
  • Prince Rogers Nelson became "Prince."

"We have to be cautious. You can't go too far with this. We aren't, after all, travel agencies. We don't put people on safaris," said Winstead CEO Denis Braham, who practices in Houston. "We have an advantage, Winstead has the word 'win' in it," he said. You can't guarantee results, he said, but you can highlight the first three letters of your name.

The ultimate in shortness is Vinson & Elkins, which is known by merely its initials: V&E.


Pinup Calendar of Boston's Most Beautiful Lawyers

One Boston lawyer is looking for Boston's hottest attorneys, reports the Boston Business Journal, all to provide legal services to the poor.

Howie Altholtz, an entertainment lawyer and marketing director at the Boston-based law firm Ruberto, Israel & Weiner has begun soliciting submissions for the first ever "Beautiful Lawyers Calendar," a glossy pinup that will feature gorgeous local lawyers and judges for each month of 2009.

The beauty contest is all in the name of charity, as proceeds from sales of the calendar, which will cost $19.95, will go to Greater Boston Legal Services, a nonprofit that provides free legal services to the state's poor and disabled population.

"I wanted to do something that would raise money for a good cause," Altholtz told the Business Journal.  He who works on the project in his spare time. "It will take the edge off the image of lawyers. It's about the  style and spirit of lawyers. It's not about superficial beauty."

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, which is running ads soliciting applications and nominations from the legal community. The print ad asks, "Do you know a beautiful lawyer? (Yes, we're serious... )," and directs readers to the Web site,

Lawyers will pose in one serious photo at work and one "tasteful" photo of them participating in an outside work activity. One example given is a sailboat setting. Will we see any lawyers in bathing suits? Altholtz isn't shedding 'light on the potential' for legal briefs.

To date, Altholtz has received about 25 submissions and applications.


FutureTech Comes to Los Angeles Legal Tech

As you may know, LegalTech West Coast will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, June 26 and 27.

For the first time ever, Law Technology News has its own LegalTech program track, "FutureTech," at the Los Angeles show. The three panels feature top leaders in legal technology, including

"Sell Your Tech" with

  • Doug Caddell
  • Rob Kahn
  • Robin Solomon

"Green Law: It's Not Easy Being Green. . . Or Is it" with

  • Alvidas Jasin
  • Bruce Lymburn
  • Tony Hoke

And inspired by Disneyland, a "TomorrowLand" session that features six stand-alone presentations that will be taped and made available as special LTWC podcasts for the Law Technology Now podcast series. Speakers include:

  • Tom Baldwin
  • Craig Ball
  • Doug Caddell
  • Judi Flournoy
  • Peter Hsiao
  • J. Craig Williams

For more information about LegalTech West Coast, visit


New Programs on Mentoring Associates, Paralegal Profits and Alternative Billing

Center for Competitive Management, law firm marketingThe Center for Competitive Management (CCM) is offering the following upcoming events:

Mentoring Associates: The Key to Retention, Development and Profitability
Thursday, June 5, 2008


How to Turn Your Paralegal Staff Into a Firm Profit Center
Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Implementation Strategies for Alternative Billing Success
Tuesday, June 24, 2008


CCM is the one resource that gives you an insider’s advantage for staying on top of the issues in the legal profession. CCM’s content is designed to help busy professionals with critical responsibilities and to improve the performance of their firms.


CCM is also conducting a survey on alternative billing methods, and they'd like hear from you. Your input is vital to the success of the survey. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey. In exchange for your valuable feedback, you will receive a complimentary summary of the results.

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New in the LawMarketing Store

Law Firm Marketing Blog Policy? Here's a 10-Point Checklist

Does your law firm need a policy covering lawyer blogs?  No, Kevin O'Keefe told the LawMarketing Listserv.

"The better approach is to apply your existing law firm standards and protocol on confidentiality, PR, marketing, and communication. Who better to know how blogs fit into your culture and the safeguards needed for firm comfort than the firm's own professionals?

Kevin McKeown, Lexblog's VP of client development, also a lawyer, but with a long history of business development and strategy takes a different approach. His aim is to get lawyers, legal marketers, and business development professionals what they need to get firm management's approval on blogs.

He offers a 10-point checklist at plus seven points to consider regarding blog ethics:

  1. Who owns the blog? Firm or individual lawyer(s)? Firm ownership is suggested if using to extend brand of firm and enhance reputation of a practice group. Copyright reflects ownership decided.
  2. Who will blog? One author or multiple authors in a group blog? The firm approves and identifies all authors and blogs.
  3. Does the blog(s) have a specific focus or niche? The narrower the focus, the better. Articulate.
  4. Does the firm need firm guidelines for blogs? Maybe not. Review existing guidelines, practices and procedures. How are email newsletters, media relations and client development issues handled? With minor revisions, professional blogging may easily be covered under existing firm practices.
  5. Has the firm drafted appropriate blog disclaimer and privacy policy? Disclaimers need to state that no attorney/client relationship is being formed and no legal advice is being dispensed. See LexBlog’s portfolio for disclaimer examples: See also ethics points below.
  6. Does the firm need to restrict blog content? Some firms may wish to restrict blog content to be general and informational similar to email newsletters and alerts. Other firms may wish to take a more progressive, and usually more successful, approach to blogging by linking to and referencing other blog posts and news stories. By doing so, you're joining the conversation as an authority in your field. Depending on the circumstances, lawyer(s) may wish to avoid taking too strong position on a particular legal topic. Generally, you don't want to be blogging about existing clients and matters that members of the firm are working on.
  7. What’s the blog posting and comment policy? Most firms, subject to general oversight, let blog authors write and publish without showing content to practice chairs or marketing prior to posting. Comments from blog readers should be allowed. To not allow comments, risks embarrassment to the firm. Blog software preferences should enable the blog author(s) or another designated party to review and approve comments before going live. Expect no more than 3 or 4 comments per month. Appropriate comments may be published.
  8. How frequently should be blogs be updated? The most effective bloggers post new content at least once a week. Blog author(s) should not fall below this threshold. To develop a compelling voice, the author should write and post—not someone else. A post should be relatively short—a few paragraphs (200-500 words may be fine). In many cases, take no more than 20 to 30 minutes to write a post.
  9. What is the role of the marketing? General oversight. Review blogs from time-to-time. Encourage lawyers to ask LexBlog specific questions about best blogging practices and any technical issues. Work with PR to determine what, if any, PR or marketing will be done to promote blog. Think through how networking with other bloggers and media will be addressed. Decide who responds to media requests directed to blog authors.
  10. How does the firm ensure that published blog content shares and extends the reach of the firm’s intellectual capital and maintains and enhances the firm’s reputation (quality control)? Require that new author(s) participate in LexBlog’s best practices training prior to the blog’s launch. One of the best ways to enter social media discussion is to follow relevant RSS (real simple syndication) feeds and reference other respected bloggers and their posts. The training reinforces this concept and shares other insights and tips for how to write effective, compelling posts including the use of supporting links, graphics, and photos via LexBlog’s platform. The orientation also addresses how to utilize LexBlog’s HelpSpot for any client support or technical questions (see Finally, the LexBlog’s blog “boot camp” is reinforced through ongoing educational webinars for beginning, intermediate and advanced bloggers as part of the client care commitment.

Lesson for law firm marketing: DON'T DO THAT!

I found this great advice on The Closers Group blog:

It is amazing how out of touch some attorneys are when attending a pitch, lunch or presentation session with potential clients. Some of the comments I’ve heard about meetings:

  • “They spent most of the time talking to themselves, not to us.”
  • “What a complete lack of respect, let alone interest - one was using a Blackberry, one answered 2 phone calls during our meeting, and one was a potted plant.”
  • “There were 2 of us and 6 of them.”
  • “I found that off-color joke offensive”
  • “They agreed to take a table at our favorite charity but no one showed up.”

Got the message? DON’T DO THAT!